Christmas baubles adorn postbox toppers in Hertford crafters' festive yarnbombing event

Some of the Christmas baubles on top of postboxes created by the Secret Society of Hertford Crafters.

Some of the Christmas baubles on top of postboxes created by the Secret Society of Hertford Crafters. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

There's Christmas postbox toppers and then there's the incredible festive yarnbombing exploits of the Secret Society of Hertford Crafters.

Once again, members of the SSOHC have excelled themselves – this year in aid of the Herts & Essex (Ware) Samaritans – with gigantic festive Christmas baubles.

Split into teams, the crafters have yarnbombed 42 Royal Mail postboxes – 28 in Hertford, 12 in Ware, one in Watton-at-Stone, and one at the Van Hage Garden Centre. Forty have baubles.

The mice making Christmas pudding topper in Watton-at-Stone

The mice making Christmas pudding topper in Watton-at-Stone - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The mice making Christmas pudding postbox topper in Watton-at-Stone

The mice making Christmas pudding postbox topper in Watton-at-Stone - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The mice making Christmas pudding topper in Watton-at-Stone

The mice making Christmas pudding topper in Watton-at-Stone - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The mice making Christmas pudding topper in Watton-at-Stone

The mice making Christmas pudding topper in Watton-at-Stone - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

You can find the locations of all the SSOHC post box toppers at www.ssohc.co.uk

This year there's an additional surprise in store as hiding inside each bauble is a miniature mouse-themed scene. In total there's 222 mice to discover.

Each scene can be viewed through a mouse hole, cut into the bauble.

You may have to look hard and you might want to use a torch to see some of the amazing details inside each bauble. 

The mice making pizza postbox topper in Ware Road, Hertford.

The mice making pizza postbox topper in Ware Road, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Ware Road, Hertford, mice making pizza postbox topper.

The Ware Road, Hertford, mice making pizza postbox topper. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The mice making pizza postbox topper in Ware Road, Hertford.

The mice making pizza postbox topper in Ware Road, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Secret Society of Hertford Crafters founder member Anne Haworth said: “As yarnbombing by its nature is secretive and anonymous, it also feels slightly naughty going out in the dark to erect giant baubles on postboxes – you don’t get that many chances, especially later in life to be a bit naughty.”

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Anne added: “This is our fifth year of yarnbombing and it is an absolute joy to be a part of.

"For every project, we like to come up with something different and original and to challenge ourselves (and our members) to create something magical for the public to marvel at.”

The Mice Golden Globes postbox topper in Port Vale, Hertford

The Mice Golden Globes postbox topper in Port Vale, Hertford - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Mice Golden Globes postbox topper in Port Vale, Hertford.

The Mice Golden Globes postbox topper in Port Vale, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Inside the Mice Golden Globes postbox topper in Port Vale, Hertford, with Emmental Raducanu, Anneka Mice and Rat Damon.

Inside the Mice Golden Globes postbox topper in Port Vale, Hertford, with Emmental Raducanu, Anneka Mice and Rat Damon. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mouse Dwayne 'Le Roquefort' Johnson at the Mice Golden Globes topper in Port Vale, Hertford.

Mouse Dwayne 'Le Roquefort' Johnson at the Mice Golden Globes topper in Port Vale, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Central to this year's installations is a massive Christmas bauble on top of each postbox, each one about 60cm in diameter.

These enormous baubles are made from paper lampshades, which are then covered in packing tape, Plaster of Paris, papier-mâché and paint.

Then there's the little mouse scenes created inside. Some of this year’s mouse themes include:

  • Brambly Hedge Mice, celebrating 40 years of publishing the Brambly Hedge series of children's books.  
  • Mice postmen, with thanks to all the postal workers and Royal Mail, for supporting SSOHC over the years.
  • Mice choristers in church.
  • Samaritans mice hard at work. 
  • Mice making pizza.
  • Mice on a train, outside Hertford East Station.
  • Mice shepherds and sheep.
  • Mice making a Christmas pudding.
Mice postbox topper at Hertford East Station

Mice postbox topper at Hertford East Station - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice postbox topper at Hertford East Station

Mice postbox topper at Hertford East Station - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Jo Baily, another founder member of the SSOHC, said: “I am amazed at the skills I have learnt and re-learnt, working on our team's bauble.

"It’s really taken me out of my crafting comfort zone. I have re-learnt how to use Plaster of Paris and papier-mâché, I’ve learnt how to saw plumber’s plastic piping and use more types of glue than I thought existed.

"The new craft skill I loved using most was découpage – gluing tissue paper and patterned napkins to the inside of my bauble, creating a wonderful decorated effect.”

For more information about Herts and Essex (Ware) Samaritans visit www.samaritans.org/branches/ware/ 


Who are The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters?

Formed in January 2017, the group has around 160 members who have a wide range of crafting skills; from novice knitters to capable crocheters, fabulous felters to quality quilters.

SSOHC's yarnbombing installations have included the Poppy Cascade at Hertford Castle in 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, Enchanted Wonderland in the summer of 2019, Hertford’s Advent Christmas Tree in 2019, and a joint venture with Scott’s Grotto in the summer of this year.

The Samaritans themed postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford.

The Samaritans themed postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters


STATISTICS: CHRISTMAS BAUBLES PROJECT 2021

  • 2006 - Cups of tea and coffee consumed
  • 584 - Hours spent on each Christmas tree bauble on average 
  • 222 - Mice
  • 173 - Metres of ribbon 
  • 169 - Meetings held 
  • 120 - Christmas presents and parcels 
  • 103 - Reused or upcycled items from previous projects
  • 62 - Different crafting materials 
  • 61 - Pieces of cheese 
  • 42 - Postboxes yarnbombed 
  • 40 - Enormous baubles 
  • 33 - Coordinators of Postboxes (COPs)
  • 20 - Types of different glue 
  • 18 - Part mice or mice heads
  • 4 - People on average in each team 
  • 2 - Samaritans mice 
  • 1 - John Travolta mouse
  • 1 - Mouse stuck in a giant snowball 
  • 1 - Emmental Raducanu mouse 


The postbox topper bauble at Bengeo Co-op.

The postbox topper bauble at Bengeo Co-op. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The postbox topper bauble at Bengeo Co-op.

The postbox topper bauble at Bengeo Co-op. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Inside the postbox topper bauble at Bengeo Co-op.

Inside the postbox topper bauble at Bengeo Co-op. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The mice decorating the tree postbox topper bauble in Cowbridge, Hertford.

The mice decorating the tree postbox topper bauble in Cowbridge, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Samaritans themed postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford.

The Samaritans themed postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford.

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford.

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford.

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford.

The Samaritans themed mice bauble postbox topper in Railway Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mouse writing letter to Father Christmas with lots of cheese in Talbot Street, Hertford. 

Mouse writing letter to Father Christmas with lots of cheese in Talbot Street, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Post box topper in Ware Road near Gallows Hill, Hertford.

Post box topper in Ware Road near Gallows Hill, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Post box topper in Ware Road, Hertford.

Post box topper in Ware Road near Gallows Hill, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice kissing under the mistletoe in the bauble topper in Ware Road, Hertford.

Mice kissing under the mistletoe in the bauble topper in Ware Road, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mouse-coteque bauble with John Travolta mouse in Hamels Drive, Hertford.

Mouse-coteque bauble with John Travolta mouse in Hamels Drive, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mouse-coteque bauble with John Travolta mouse in Hamels Drive, Hertford.

Mouse-coteque bauble with John Travolta mouse in Hamels Drive, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice postmen topper at the Hornsmill Post Office in Hertford.

Mice postmen topper at the Hornsmill Post Office in Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice with tubs of sweets inside the bauble in Mandeville Road, Hertford

Mice with tubs of sweets inside the bauble in Mandeville Road, Hertford - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice with tubs of sweets inside the bauble in Mandeville Road, Hertford

Mice with tubs of sweets inside the bauble in Mandeville Road, Hertford - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice watching the Queen's speech in  Purkiss Road, Hertford.

Mice watching the Queen's speech in Purkiss Road, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice bell ringers in Kings Road, Hertford.

Mice bell ringers in Kings Road, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice bell ringers in Kings Road, Hertford.

Mice bell ringers in Kings Road, Hertford. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Three Wise Mice in Gilpin Road, Ware.

Three Wise Mice in Gilpin Road, Ware. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice juggling in Musley Road, Ware.

Mice juggling in Musley Road, Ware. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Mice juggling in Musley Road, Ware.

Mice juggling in Musley Road, Ware. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

Daddy mouse filling stockings for his twins in King George Road, Ware.

Daddy mouse filling stockings for his twins in King George Road, Ware. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters

The Martins Christmouse Post Office scene in Ware.

The Martins Christmouse Post Office scene in Ware. - Credit: Secret Society of Hertford Crafters